One area where low Mint State grades are accepted — often due to the
absence of any alternatives — is with early southern Branch Mint gold
coins. The coins from Dahlonega, Ga., and Charlotte, N.C., are known
for being unevenly struck and have low survival rates from generally
low mintages (especially when compared to their Philadelphia Mint counterparts).
Take this 1850-C Coronet $2.50 quarter eagle with an original
mintage of 63,591 pieces. It triples in price as one goes from an
About Uncirculated 50 grade to a Mint State grade.
Perhaps a couple dozen exist in Mint State grades. This one,
formerly in the collection of Louis E. Eliasberg Jr., is graded NGC
MS-60 and characterized by a better strike than usually seen on these
crudely produced issues. It sold for $12,925 during Heritage's March
20 auction of the Bently Collection.